Good songs that don’t work live

When a song you like, by a band you think are good performers, just doesn’t translate all that well to being played on stage

That stringed live version of in ár gcroíthe go deo by fontaines at glasto.


Little Things was my absolute standout from the last Big Thief album, but they just don’t seem to have worked out how to play it live. Given how driving the recorded version is, it seemed oddly disjointed live, like it never got into the groove

Jackie Down the Line by Fontaines is gorgeous, but sounded a lot more leaden from seeing it on a few videos - it’s lost a lot of the jangle and sparkle. Think they play it a step or two lower, which probably doesn’t help

1 Like

Ha literally came to post ‘Little Things’ when I saw the thread title. They abandoned it halfway through when I saw them and said something like “we haven’t figured this one out live yet”.

Odd because in my head it could be absolutely majestic and quite noisy in my head but then I’m not a musician.

1 Like

And because they made much trickier new songs work flawlessly at the same gig

Was balanced out by seeing the amazing heavy version of Dragon anyway

1 Like

Yeh really weird. It seemed to be the drummer couldn’t quite find the rhythm but might be wrong.

1 Like

Like Eating Glass by Bloc Party. Still a great song but the intro with all the timed delay pings just sounds a bit thin live.

Don’t think they ever did that album justice in a live setting when they first started touring. They got better at it. I’m guessing they maybe got some money and spent it on some better gear?


Antlers never used to nail “Wake”

I love the Jools version LEG, but that’ll be all produced and mixed better than a gig would be ofc

1 Like

Ice Cream by Battles (or anything off that AMAZING second album with the vocal samples). Just feels weird them playing to and triggering sampled lead vocals.

my main issue with Like Eating Glass is that no one else can play it like Matt Tong


Pains me, but The RIver

Stockholm Syndrome by Muse

yes really

Think he had a sore throat when I saw them in mitigation, but the singer of Melt Yourself Down struggled to nail the high bits and the intensity that Crocodile has on record. Doesn’t matter mind, cos they’re such a great live band.

Radiohead’s Burn The Witch.
Get me some strings, please.

1 Like

I would personally disagree, I loved the tour for that where they had the vocalists on the screens for each song too, one of the best shows I think I’ve ever seen and to my memory Ice Cream was absolutely amazing! I’ve never seen them any other time though, so I’ve no context.

1 Like

Yeah but the live version they did with that university choir in Chicago for Tiny Desk was quality. So I guess it depends on where the stage is and how big the crowd is too.